My brother recently got back from a 7 month tour in Afghanistan. He arrived home Labor Day weekend 2007. He is a reservist in the Canadian military living in the US who served in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery as a bombardiar (corporal). He is a dual citizen - American born, who has serviced both in the US Marines and the Canadian military several years ago. He had recently decided to return to serving as a reservist, as military is in his blood and he says " I'm good at it."
We are all much relieved and grateful to have him back healthy and whole with us, and have a new understanding of what it is like to have someone you love gone overseas and in mortal danger 24 hrs a day. Having a loved one in the military and serving overseas teaches you some things. You learn to pray like never before; you learn to communicate alot more often and to speak your heart, knowing you may never get another chance. It has made our family a lot closer and more appreciative of each other.
While he was over there, a reporter for a national Canadian newspaper visited and took pictures. My brother's picture as well as several of his unit demonstrating the use of a howitzer was taken and published across the country in newspapers and online in both Canada and the US. That is the picture you see to the right, cleaning his weapon. (Credit is given to Remiorz who took this photo)
We are SO VERY PROUD of him and what he respresented while serving his country. In my opinion, he has served both the US and Canada in this deployment, in that the troops from both countries often worked together on the same missions along with the Brits. My brother has deep respect for both the Brits and the US troops, and spoke highly of them. Although I may or may not always agree with the whys of this war, I DO support the troops 100%.
After his return, he was approached by the 'higher ups' (I don't know exactly what their rank was, I only know that one came up from Ottawa specifically to speak to him) to train troops in Alberta, Canada and in Virginia, and that they wanted him to take a 2 or 6 week training course (sorry, can't remember which) to become a master corporal. (he's already a corporal) Because of his previous service, he came well equipped before he even went into training this time.
Anyway, I believe he has declined this offer. He turned 40 while over seas, and is very grateful to be back home with his new wife and three children. Currently, he is enjoying spending time with them and working on their five acre lot while still serving as a reservist and searching out new endeavors.